Film studies micro analysis essay

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Semiotics also called semiotic studies and in the Saussurean tradition called semiology is the study of meaning-making, the philosophical theory of signs and symbols. This includes the study of signs and sign processes semiosis , indication, designation, likeness, analogy , metaphor , symbolism , signification, and communication. Semiotics is closely related to the field of linguistics , which, for its part, studies the structure and meaning of language more specifically.


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As different from linguistics, however, semiotics also studies non-linguistic sign systems. Semiotics often is divided into three branches: Semantics is the relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata , or meaning. Syntactics is relations among signs in formal structures. Pragmatics is the relation between signs and sign-using agents. Ancient Greek philosophy's "overturning of mythology" [ citation needed ] as a definition to understanding of the heightened aesthetic. This is a written description of a given sequence in a film in order of the shots.

According to Michael Ryan and Melissa Lenos, when doing shot-by-shot analysis, we start with describing the techniques used in the shots or images we are analyzing.

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After that, we also need to elaborate what effects these techniques can produce when viewing the movie; for example, camera leads what we see in the film so the changes in camera angles have impact on audience's interpretations of the meanings the movie tries to convey. A number of varied film analysis approaches have emerged and gained popularity on the internet such as those by Red Letter Media and Rob Ager.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. So far in the sequence, the viewer has feared that Laura will do something desperate, but has has no mise-en-scene related evidence. The next shot, possibly a point of view shot from Laura, shows her taking out a book and bottles of pills from her bag. The camera then pans around Laura lying on the bed, reading Mrs Dalloway. As we hear this line, Laura pulls up her shirt to reveal her pregnant stomach, indicating to the viewer one of the sacrifices she will have to make in order to escape her unhappiness.

The next cut is to Virginia Woolf and the camera continues to pan, but in the opposite direction. Her stillness mirrors that of Laura Brown. She is inert on the bed, seeming to give herself up to the prospect of death. Neither Virginia Woolf nor Laura Brown can quite step outside of their own troubled thoughts, even when presented with a child. The viewer may, at this point, have been positioned as if they were Laura, yet the scene still generates a sense of powerlessness to stop events. An overhead shot then places Laura centrally in the frame on the hotel bed.

She is lying on a white bed cover and is shrouded in shadow. The connotations of death are clear at this point for the viewer. The sequence then enters a kind of dreamscape. This mise-en-scene element clearly links Laura Brown and Virginia Woolf. Laura is engulfed by her unhappiness and metaphorically feels as if she is drowning.

Micro Essay | AS Film Studies

Virginia Woolf, as we have seen in the opening sequence to this film, did drown herself in a river in The water is shown covering Laura Brown and the audience fears that she has taken the pills and died in her sleep. However, the cut to Virginia Woolf and the close-up of her suddenly seeming to wake from her reverie, stops the viewer from having this fear confirmed.


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The camera then tracks slowly back from Laura as she begins to cry, hold her pregnant stomach and rock. The camera and the viewer may be able to leave Laura at this point, as she has not committed suicide, but her body language indicates that her unhappiness is still very real. These micro elements have shown the dissatisfaction which can lie beneath the American Dream of the post war years.

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Notify me of new posts via email. Skip to content. Introduction Your introduction should end by identifying which film and which sequence you are going to use in your analysis. Conclusion Your conclusion should summarise the meanings and responses you think your chosen micro elements have generated. M icro Analysis Getting Started Once you have chosen your film sequence you should watch it several times making notes on your chosen aspect.

Remember you should focus on a maximum of two aspects of film language. The Analysis Your introduction should outline the film, the director and the sequence that you are to focus on. Word Count — oops!